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Record Roundup: Where Nominated Artist Sales Stand before the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards

3 minute read | January 2014

The GRAMMY Awards are the music industry’s biggest night in the U.S.—over 28 million viewers tuned in to the the 55th show last year. In the few hours of performances and awards, a huge concentration of engaged listeners are exposed to some of the newest leaders in music. So while these awards are given without regard to sales or chart position, the show can have an enormous impact on listeners—and sales.

In 2013, the winners of some of the top awards saw sales more than double after the GRAMMY Awards. A week following the show, sales of the Album of the Year, Mumford & Sons’ Babel, rose 413 percent compared to the week before its win. Digital downloads of Gotye featuring Kimbra’s “Somebody that I Used to Know,” winner of the Record of the Year, increased 225 percent over the week before its win. At the same time, sales of the Song of the Year winner, “We are Young” by Fun. featuring Janelle Monae, climbed 307 percent above its pre-GRAMMY sales, likely fueled by Fun.’s other win as Best New Artist. And the winners weren’t the only ones to benefit—performers and nominees also saw sales skyrocket a week after the show.

So where do sales for this year’s nominees from some of the top categories currently stand?

Album of the Year

Taylor Swift’s album Red, released Oct. 22, 2012, has the most record sales to date out of the nominees for this category at almost 4 million. And her sales for all her albums—at 22.7 million to date overall—well surpass the others’ total albums sales. Comparatively, the next highest selling nominated album from the category—Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ debut commercial album The Heist, released the same month as Red—saw 1.3 million sales to date. Daft Punk has the next highest total albums’ sales in this category at 3 million, but their nominated album, Random Access Memories was only released May 1, 2013, and has sold 884,000 to date.

Record of the Year

This category honors the team of people who help create the recording of a single song. And Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell Williams’ “Blurred Lines,” released March 26, 2013, has the highest track sales at 6.7 million, as well as the second-highest streams to date at 146.8 million. Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive,” released May 3, 2013, has earned the second highest sales with 6.2 million and has the highest streams to date at 182.4 million. However, possibly most impressive sales in this category are from Lorde’s hit, “Royals.” Just released Oct. 20, 2013, this song has already sold 4.8 million tracks and 137.4 million streams to date.

Best New Artist

And in the category that can launch future sales success for relatively unknown artists, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis have the most sales with their Album of the Year-nominated The Heist. The next highest sales in this category are for Kendrick Lamar, whose latest album, Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City, has sold 1.1 million units and is also nominated in the Album of the Year category. On the other end of the spectrum, James Blake’s latest album, Overgrown, was the most recently released on April 9, 2013, and has sold 54,000 albums.

Strong sales and spins won’t necessarily secure these artists a win. But over the next several weeks following the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards, all of the nominees will likely win sales.

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